As part of an ongoing series of STREAM Collaborators Meetings in Chennai, India, the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT) met twice with key stakeholders during July.  STREAM is the first large-scale, multi-country clinical trial to examine shortened regimens for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), as well as the safety and efficacy of bedaquiline, one of the newest drugs for treating MDR-TB, within a shortened regimen.

Dr. Raghuram Rao, Deputy Assistant Director General at the Central Tuberculosis Division from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, leading the invocation of the Collaborators Meeting.

On July 12, 2019 collaborators for the STREAM clinical trial met at Omundurar Multispecialty Hospital in Chennai. Participants included representatives from the Government of India, directors and department staff from Madras Medical College, the Medical Superintendent of the Government Hospital of Thoracic Medicine (GHTM), representatives of the nuclear medicine department at Omundurar Multispecialty Hospital, district TB officers, STREAM investigators, Vital Strategies staff (sponsor for the trial), and The Union South East Asia staff. The Deputy Assistant Director General at the Central Tuberculosis Division from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Raghuram Rao, presided over the meeting.

Dr. Meera Gurumurthy addressing those in attendance at the Omundurar Multispecialty Hospital in Chennai, India
NIRT’s Principal Investigator, Dr. G. Narendran facilitating a Q&A with attendees

A second collaborators meeting was held on July 27th.  At the meeting, NIRT welcomed over one hundred staff from NIRT and the Tambaram Sanatorium at GHTM, and took the opportunity to acknowledge the critical support provided by GHTM, where STREAM patients are hospitalized at the start of their treatment.

Dr. Mohan Natarajan discussing developments in STREAM and the importance of the study at GHTM, Tambaram

These regular Chennai STREAM Collaborators Meetings facilitate an open dialogue between the lead trial institute in India – NIRT – and key partners and policy makers. They ensure collaborators remain up to date on progress and lessons learned from the trial and give stakeholders the chance to ask questions. During the July meetings, collaborators also took the opportunity to discuss the ongoing importance of STREAM in the context of India’s national MDR-TB treatment guidelines. STREAM will provide important information regarding the drug bedaquiline in a shorter regimen, and collaborators emphasized the need for the India NTP to have access to trial data from STREAM to inform any decision to move to a fully oral, bedaquiline containing regimen as the standard of care in the country. Collaborators also highlighted that STREAM will generate important information regarding the safety and use of the fluoroquinolone moxifloxacin.

Dr. Ramya Ananthakrishnan from REACH adding to the discussions at the STREAM Collaborators Meeting

These Collaborators Meetings underscore STREAM’s commitment to ensuring the STREAM trial remains relevant to and benefits the communities where it takes place. They ensure findings from the trial are available to local health systems and that local stakeholders can raise questions and concerns about the trial with the principal investigator and sponsor. Participation by a broad cross-section of stakeholders ensures that challenges are addressed efficiently and uniformly. NIRT will continue these meetings throughout the trial, up until dissemination of results.